Over the years we’ve gotten some really annoying ways to release a TV series on DVD, but I think Warner Bros. treatment of their animation properties may be the worst. As a fan of their superhero properties, I’ve endured countless volume releases that were comprised of only one or two episodes, only for the season sets to be released later down the line. While I eventually got what I wanted out of them, they continue to mine their archives for older shows that have somehow not been put out. Such is the case with these Superfriends releases, which started back in January and appear to be continuing on. While fans of the series will no doubt be glad it’s arriving on DVD, others like can only utter the question of “exactly how many seasons/iterations of this damn show are there?”
The series featured the adventures of DC Comics book heroes Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman. These five superheroes along with superheroes in training Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog focused their abilities on putting away criminals, saving lives, and stopping terrible disasters. Each episode of the SuperFriends was geared to present, not only action, but also some lesson of educational value. A number of other famous DC comic book heroes appeared: Plastic Man, The Flash, and Green Arrow Eight 1-hour timeless adventures in a Deluxe 2-Disc Collector’s Edition showcase the universe’s greatest heroes paving the way for a brighter future.
Even as a kid I hated this series. I just…truly found nothing about it to enjoy and aside from that one Scooby Doo crossover episode with Batman and Robin, I didn’t like any of the pre-90s DC animation efforts. So I’m already lacking the requisite nostalgia to properly enjoy this release, leaving me with only the quality of the episodes to sustain me. Which is a huge mistake, considering how terrible this series is—there are only eight episodes on this set (each one around forty-five minutes) and watching each one of them was really just agonizing. There are times when I review things and think “man, I could really be doing something better with my time.” Eventually this show just became background noise as I did other things—it’s just such a relentlessly mediocre show that investing any real time into it genuinely feels like I’ve taken a wrong turn in life to be watching cartoons of this caliber.
I’m sure there are fans out there reading this and gasping in horror, but honestly no amount of nostalgia can redeem this series. Also the fact there are so many iterations of it is bewildering to me—Warner just keeps releasing DVD sets of this show and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. In any case this particular set is no better than what I’ve seen of the show in the past—although I could’ve done without the inclusion of Marvin and Wendy in this series. Apparently this particular season was the only one of Superfriends, so I guess this second volume wraps up the series in its entirety.
The full episode list includes:
The Balloon People
The Fantastic FRERPs
The Ultra Beam
The Menace of the White Dwarf
The Mysterious Moles
Gulliver’s Gigantic Goof
Overall this is strictly a set for those who have seen the series recently and still enjoy it, because nostalgia is a real pain in the ass at painting things to better than they are. And if you’re like me and hated the show regardless, then this set won’t do you any good either. In the end it’s something you can safely Skip without any repercussions. The series was definitely a product of its time and in no way holds up to today’s standards of…well, anything.
Warner releases the title on DVD in a standard two-disc amaray case housed inside of a cardboard slipcase. I didn’t review the first volume of this season so I can’t be sure if it’s the same or not, but the cardboard slipcase helps it blend in on the shelf of TV shows a bit better regardless. There are no extras on this set (aside from Trivia Challenge bull) and the video and audio presentation is pretty egregious. Yes, it’s old and I shouldn’t expect any better but I’m also not going to score it any better as the video hasn’t aged gracefully in the least and there’s been no effort to clean up all of the print damage. Audio is strictly mono and sounds about as thrilling as a mono track can.
Overall a release that can be Skipped.
Superfriends Season 1 Volume 2 is now available on DVD.